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544                                    THE IRON INDUSTRY.
of these is generally equipped to roll small billets. In this way the converting department and the soaking pits are kept running steadily and loss from oxidation in the heating furnaces is unknown. To the average observer a German plant, turning out from 1000 to 1500 tons per day, seems to be operating at a very low cost, in spite of there being a few more men than would be found in America.
There were 147 basic open-hearth furnaces in the Ruhr district in 1899 with an average rating of about 17 tons, and these make about 1,800,000 tons of open-hearth steel per year; the output of Bessemer steel is nearly 2,500,000 tons. The total steel made is about 4,300,000 tons, while the output of pig-iron is only 4,000,000 tons, the difference being made up by metal brought from the Minette region. The district is the great producer of wrought-iron, there being 500 puddle furnaces at work, or half the number in the Empire. Table XXIY-G gives the principal producers of steel and iron, but it will be understood that the estimated capacity of blast furnaces represents a maximum hoped for, rather than a regular production. Thus the seven furnaces at Horde are rated at 160 tons when the figures for 1898 show an average product of 90 tons, and the same reports give 90 tons for the furnaces belonging to the Union Works, 130 tons for the Hoesch, and 110 tons for Gute-hoff'nungshutte.
SEC. XXIVd.—Olerschlesien, Upper Silesia:
In the southeastern end of Germany, surrounded on the north, east and south by Russia and Austria, lies a district fifty miles square, which produces half as much coal as the Ruhr Valley, one-fourth as much coke, and which stands second among German districts in the production of steel. Isolated by the political frontier lines and by the mountainous character of the country, it forms a factor not only in the industrial world, but in the political situation, for tariff measures and expenditures for internal improvements by railway or canal must be arranged to give this district its share in the benefits, in order that it may not pay taxes to assist a competitor.
Coal is found in both Upper and Lower Silesia, but the iron industry exists only in the east. The character of the population is quite different from that of western Germany, for eastern Silesia formed part of the old province of Poland, as might be inferred